Ian's first passage...

Tue 25 Nov 2003 22:46
mostly we SEW every day

first night out I found it most disorientating. in the pitched dark - I
imagined Avalon kept wanting to gybe.... in 25 knots and a 15 foot swell
that's not a good idea !

when we set sail from Fiji George set the headsail at 20% poled out on port
for balance , one reef on the main [with a gybe preventer] on starboard ,
rudder lashed to trim out weather helm and the windvane set towards New Cal.
so much in tune with the little boat [ only 30 ft in this gigantic ocean ]
George sets the sails & seldom needs to trim more often than 1/2 a day at a
time !

for the last few days the sea has been confused and Avalon has been tossed
about like a cork. George and Bec's selection of the Yankee 30 was well
founded because Avalon's stern lifts and the swell slides under, then rounds
up a little and the windvane does its job bringing us down on track again.
the odd bucket of water dumps into the cockpit.we've been making up to 155
naut. miles a day which is max. theoretical speed for a 30 footer ie we're

blue water sailing is a completely different experience for me compared to
decades of dinghies, windsurfing and now my jubilee.

SEW. life on passage revolves around Sleeping, Eating and Watching. it is
surprising how much Sleeping I do (apparently it nature's way of reducing
the confusion between your eyes and ears when there's so much rolling
motion )

E. because of the rough conditions we have been eating only one major meal a
day, with the odd slice of bread and jam washed down with tea at other
times - George makes
a fine chef no doubt under Bec's tutilage

W. we take it in turns to change watch every 2-4 hours all the time, but
have not seen any other vessels.I am quite confident of sleeping under any
conditions now & now used to snatching 10 minutes
snooze in between scanning the horizon [ see 'S' above ]

it's now day 5 & for the 1st time the wind has dropped to less than 20 knots
& is about 12 k . at this rate we'll anchor near Noumea @ 2 am

those with blue water experience may smirk at my naivety but taking up
George's invitation was the best birthday present to give myself . it's a
whole new aspect of sailing

Hi to all, Ian